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Monday, 7th April 2008
In Japan Sports News,

Japanese racecourse opens shrine

A racecourse in Japan has opened a new place of worship.

Dubbed the Takara Shrine and located at Mizusawa Racecourse, the new holy site was officially opened on Saturday, reports Mainichi Daily News.

Mizusawa Racecourse is located in Iwate Prefecture, which can be found in the north of Japan's main island, Honshu.

The dirt course has a 245 metre-long straight and a circumference measuring 1,200 metres, according to Horse Racing in Japan.

The shrine takes its name from a popular racehorse - known as Treasure Smile - and includes actual horseshoes worn by the animal, in addition to presence of a model depicting the horse.

"We hope this will be a spot that visitors can enjoy," said an official from Iwate Keiba, the owners of Treasure Smile.

The horse is popular in Japan because of a heart-shaped mark featured on the creature's head.

Admission to the racecourse costs ¥200.